Cheating network and website Ashley Madison with the tagline: “Life is short. Have an affair.” that enables married people to cheat has been compromised. The hackers are threatening to release private data of millions of customers.
Ashley Madison, which inspires married people to cheat on their partners and advertises thirty-seven million users, had its system attacked by a team of hackers named Impact Team. However, 2 other websites in dating niche, Established Men and Cougar Life, also owned by Avid Life Media (parent group), was attacked.
As per Krebs on Security blogpost, the Avid Life Media attacked by a group of hackers called Impact Team. Almost 37 million users were affected by this cyberattack, and the Impact Team demanding that Established Men and its sister website Ashley Madison, should be shutdown permanently.
The private information stolen includes financial records, private details, and real names. Although the information hasn’t yet been exposed publicly, the group revealed some of the data as a sample just before taking the website down.
The Impact Team said in a statement, “Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails. The other websites may stay online.”
The attackers’ main point of concern is that the user have to pay £15 if he/she want to delete his/her information from the website. On the other hand, users have the choice to hide their website on permanent basis without any charge, the firm’s ads claim that the complete deletion is the single way to fully remove their private data from the website’s servers.
However, the attackers say that claim is “not true.”
The allege, “Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”
Statement from Avid Life Media Inc.: http://t.co/sSoLWvrLoQ
— Ashley Madison (@ashleymadison) July 20, 2015
Avid Life Media believes it has recognized the perpetrator of the attack, and it looks like an inside job. Noel Biderman, the CEO of company, told Krebs, “We’re on the doorstep of [confirming] who we believe is the culprit, and unfortunately that may have triggered this mass publication. I’ve got their profile right in front of me, all their work credentials. It was definitely a person here that was not an employee but certainly had touched our technical services.”
As per Krebs reports, if the company doesn’t shutdown their websites, the attackers say they will carry on to release “all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses and employee documents and emails.”
Avid Life Media says they are trying to cover the massive hack and has condemned the attackers’ act. Biderman told to Krebs, “We’re not denying this happened. Like us or not, this is still a criminal act.”